Replacing SBS2003 with new 2012r2 server.

In the planning stages of replacing our Small business server 2003 with a new 2012r2.  My plan is to get the 2012 server up and running on a separate network and then "cutover".  What are the details of doing that?
TrailShredderIT ManagerAsked:
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Lee W, MVPTechnology and Business Process AdvisorCommented:
Well, good luck.  You'll have a LOT of work migrating profiles, setting up user accounts, rejoining computers to the domain...

Why aren't you doing a migration instead?

Are you migrating to Exchange 2013?  Or is e-mail hosted off network?
TrailShredderIT ManagerAuthor Commented:
Only have about 50 user accounts and thought I would use it to do some "cleaning up".  Yes, doing exchange 2013 as well and leaning toward pst exports/imports.

Sounds like you are suggesting a migration instead?  Is that a smooth road from SBS2K3?  I've never done a migration?
Lee W, MVPTechnology and Business Process AdvisorCommented:
A few years back, I moved 15 users - less than a third of what you have.  It took a week to get everyone settled - and you have 50 users.  

Performing a migration would preserve your AD, all your permissions, your computer domain memberships, your user profiles.  This can save huge amounts of time.

You can add 2012 R2 DCs to a 2003 domain.  Migrate your data, and eventually demote the SBS Server.  Honestly though if EITHER process isn't something your prepared for, you should be setting up test environments and understanding the amount of work involved.  IDEALLY, unless you have experience or a significant amount of time to learn, you should probably hire someone with experiencing Migrating from SBS servers.  No one knows your environment like you but experience doing these migrations will allow a person to deal with unexpected issues appropriately and provide you the best possible experience with the least interruption to your users.

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